Matthew Lickona noon, July 29
The Best Man Holiday
An agreeable R-rated rom-com turns into a high-handed sentimental tear-jerker before piously wasting away. It’s time we sue Universal for false advertising. The breezy trailer for Malcolm Lee’s follow-up to his 1999 hit, The Best Man, promises “All the sex, all the secrets, all the surprises,” and none of the sickness. The cancer that’s hinted at in reel two begins to metastasize at the 60-minute mark;the audience I saw it with was visibly shaken. Shoulders convulsed as dozens wept, their waves of boo-hoos occasionally drowning out patches of dialogue. Why would anyone willingly submit to this type of abuse? Didn’t we suffer enough with 12 Years a Slave? Effortless performances by Taye Diggs and Terrence Howard buoy the first hour (and provide several big laughs), but as soon as the coughed-up blood hits the handkerchief, you had best hit the exit door. With Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, and Monica Calhoun. 2013.